Fractures involving the knee joint quite often disrupt the articular cartilage which otherwise contributes to a smooth, low friction interface on which bones glide.
The skill lies in restoring this surface near to its original condition to prevent the development of arthritis in future. Arthritis results in a permanently painful knee with restriction of motion.
Achieving this by minimally invasive techniques requires a good understanding of the mechanics of disruption, its effect on bone fragment position and experience in utilising.
SMALL INCISIONS NOT INVOLVING THE KNEE JOINT.
Arthroscopic Surgery has enabled significant advances in treating some of these fractures. One can see the entire joint on a large screen, accurately restore the joint and percutaneously (small incisions on the skin) fix such fractures under X Ray control.
Special plates have been designed which can be used with very small incisions thus achieving good fixation with minimum disruption of tissues.
The advantages of such refined techniques and instrumentation lie in restoring early movement and strength of the knee and thereby faster recovery times.
Until a few years ago articular cartilage damaged due to an injury could not be restored. If the area damaged was reasonably large, it caused a persistent dull ache – the knee would not feel normal. Articular cartilage restoration techniques have brought a lot of promise in treating such damaged areas.